People with marginalized bodies rarely make it into the spotlight, and when they do, they are usually exploited to benefit the media’s twisted perception of them. When we see plus-sized bodies, it’s when they are a “before” photo. When we see Black bodies, they’re often highly oversexualized. When we see bodies with disabilities, it’s depicted as “poor them” or “how brave.”
Boudoir photography is an incredible way to start normalizing the viewing of regular women with normal bodies that are far more common in society than the images of women fed to us through most media outlets.
Here are a few easy ways to help EVERY body feel included and comfortable for a boudoir photography shoot.
Conduct a Consultation
An in-person or phone consultation can help the photographer understand what the client wants to get out of the experience and why they are making the decision to do a boudoir photo shoot. The photographer can then give the client realistic expectations of what they can and cannot achieve through one photo session.
Create an Inclusive Space
Creating a space as inclusive as possible will help women of all sizes and ethnicities feel comfortable and safe. In your space, try to:
- Make it wheelchair accessible
- Have furniture that can hold up to 700 pounds
- Hire makeup and hair artists that are trained in all skin colors and hair textures
- Have a size-inclusive wardrobe
- Work on your own subconscious biases and beliefs about bodies, so you don’t project them onto your clients
Review the Photos with Your Client
When you sit down with the client and review the final photos, pay attention to the images they do and do not choose. Help them correlate that when they feel X emotion about their body, that is what they look like, and it is beautiful. They might look different from how they’ve been told they should look, but that is the goal. Inclusive boudoir photography is meant to break through the barriers of modern society and help women feel confident and comfortable in their own bodies. They should feel that where their body is right now is enough, and they do not need to change anything!
There are various ways to be more inclusive in your everyday life, and booking a boudoir photo shoot is a great way to practice inclusivity acceptance within yourself! At The Pouting Room, we pledge for inclusivity and have completed Boudoir University’s 7 Pillar Program. We continue to listen and learn to become a safer and more empowering boudoir photography studio for EVERY body.